Marketer’s guide to Facebook retargeting

Imagine this: a visitor to your site starts to check out one of your products that’d be perfect for them… but then a Facebook notification pops up.

They click on it, and forget all about that purchase they were considering moments before.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could call them back?

Well, you can. Facebook retargeting is a way to show ads to people who’ve visited your site but left without making a purchase.

It’s very similar to other forms of retargeting and remarketing, such as Google remarketing. As Ted Vrountas writes on Instapage:

“The Facebook Pixel, also known informally as the Facebook retargeting pixel, is a snippet of code you can insert into the back end of your website. Like other tags, it helps drive and decode key performance metrics generated by a particular platform. Specifically, the Facebook Pixel helps businesses with a Facebook page determine and improve the ROI from the world’s biggest social network.”

How to get started with Facebook retargeting

How to get started with Facebook retargeting

To use Facebook retargeting, you need to be set up for Facebook Ads. You also need to install the “Facebook pixel” on your site – as this allows you to create the “Custom Audience” that you need to use to target visitors from your site.

A few years ago, there used to be two different types of Facebook pixel: the Facebook conversion-tracking pixel and the Facebook custom audience pixel – so if you were using one of these before, you’ll need to change them. (Facebook has instructions on transitioning from a Custom Audience pixel and on transitioning from a conversion-tracking pixel.)

The current Facebook pixel isn’t just used for retargeting: as Hootsuite explains, it’s also a way to optimize your ads and track your conversion rate:

“The Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It collects data that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website.”

Of course, you’ll need to abide by all of Facebook’s usual advertising policies – for instance, you can’t reference or allude to personal attributes or characteristics of the group you’re targeting and there are certain types of products (such as firearms) that you can’t advertise.

Key tips for getting the most from Facebook retargeting

Key tips for getting the most from Facebook retargeting

It’s not too tricky to start using Facebook retargeting (especially if you’ve run Facebook ads before) – but getting the most from your budget can be difficult.

Here are some key things that every marketer should know:

#1: Segment your retargeting ads based on your different pages

You’ll get better results if you target your visitors with ads that they’re actually interested in … not ads that relate to your site as a whole.

This means setting up specific rules in the Facebook ads interface about your audience, based on the URL they visited. This article on WordStream has full guidance on how to do just that.

#2: Exclude visitors who purchased your product

If a visitor made it through to your Order Confirmation page, then there’s no point in repeatedly telling them about the product that they bought – as well as being a waste of your money, it’s potentially a way to annoy them and prevent them buying from you again.

As AdEspresso suggests, you can simply exclude members of the audience who visited your order confirmation page.

#3: Consider targeting people who visited your Facebook page

You can use Facebook retargeting to target people who visited your page, or who got partway through watching a video or completing a form – it’s not just about visitors to your website.

This can be a great way to recapture the interest of people who interacted with your brand, however briefly, on Facebook.Simply getting your ad in front of them could be enough to raise their awareness of your brand – and you might well be able to persuade them to click through to your website, where you’ll have the chance to encourage them to take further actions.  

#4: Combine retargeting with other Facebook ad filters

You can choose to show a Facebook ad to people with certain demographics, interests, behaviors, and more.This could mean retargeting those in a certain area or age bracket.

You might, for instance, want to promote your free shipping offer to customers who visited your website but left without purchasing and who are in the United States. Or you might want to promote a “back to college” deal to visitors in the right age bracket that are more likely to take advantage of it.

By combining retargeting with other filters, you can maximize the chance that your ad will show someone exactly what they need, when they need it.

Facebook retargeting is a great way to get more power out of Facebook ads – maximizing every penny you spend on advertising. Make sure you dig into the different options available (rather than simply throwing the same ad at everyone who visited your site recently), and track your ads to see how well they perform.

One final – albeit crucial – consideration to note: If your website visitors and/or customers include residents of the European Union, you must comply with GDPR. And that means obtaining visitors’ consent for the use of tracking cookies and the use of their data. Good news: Our GDPR Compliance Tool makes it simple to obtain users’ consent (or rejection) for cookie collection. Not only is it simple to use and install, but it’s free, too.

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